So OnLive is out in the UK. I noticed quite a few people on the interwebs pointing out that they won’t sign up because, like me, they are on limited bandwidth internet plans.
I live out in the country, where there isn’t as much choice of ISP as the cities, and because my business needs the net, I need a rock solid connection with reliability and really good telephone support, so I end up paying over the odds. As a result, I have very reliable broadband, pretty fast, but bandwidth capped to 45 gig /month. I generally never hit the limit, but then when I see a game demo thats 2 gigs, I normally just skip it.
Something that made me think about this was Heroes of Stalingrad, Red Orchestra. This game is a tech-support trainwreck, with numerous bugs, random crashes, occasional dissapearing sound effects, rubber-banding, blah blah. Underneath it all is a great game.
The good news is they keep patching the game (although often introduce more bugs than they fix). The bad news is the patches are normally 400MB+. Apparently the developers claim this is the unreal engines fault in some way, although I find that hard to believe. Almost all bugs in a game are in the .exe and the exe is rarely >20MB. Regular 400MB patches are crazy.
I definitely think that big games studios totally forget about the ‘bandwidth-challenged’. It’s one thing to release big patches. It’s another thing to release such patches several times a month, and require the patch for online play. If everyone MUST have the latest version, don’t insist on chewing up over a gig or two a month of peoples bandwidth limit just to play a game.